UKHospitality warns of 'inherent risks' to prospective immigration system

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality warns of 'inherent risks' to prospective points-based immigration system

Related tags: Government, Chef, Restaurant, ukhospitality, brexit

Trade body UKHospitality has reiterated the need for the Government’s future immigration policy to prioritise supporting businesses to deliver economic growth over political considerations.

It follows yesterday’s pledge by Tory leadership front-runner Boris Johnson to push forward with introducing a points-based system for migrants if he were to become Prime Minister.

Last December the Government released a white paper detailing future immigration policy in the UK, which outlined plans to end the right for 'low skilled' EU migrants to permanently live and work in the country.

“The future immigration policy announced last December was disastrous for hospitality and the wider UK economy,” says UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls.

“Since then UKHospitality and businesses across a huge range of sectors have made the case that a more pragmatic approach will help to grow the UK economy, and the Government has seemingly accepted this position.

“Moving towards a point-based system has inherent risks, not least the potential for too much Government intervention in the labour market - something Conservatives have fought against for many years.”

According to The Guardian, Johnson’s camp has stressed the prospective PM’s proposal was not intended to suggest he would abandon the proposed immigration bill, but would instead give new instructions to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to investigate the idea of a points-based system.

Earlier this week, Home Secretary Sajid Javid ordered the MAC​ to review the proposed £30,000 salary threshold for EU migrants post-Brexit, which was also outlined in the white paper.

“Existing proposals need to be adapted to back business and those who want to work in the UK, rather than shutting the door on economic growth,” adds Nicholls

“The Government also needs to refocus on helping hospitality to develop its UK workforce through effective apprenticeships and a further education system that delivers the homegrown talent that industry needs.”

The UK already has a points-based system for migrants entering the country from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), with eligibility determined by a set of mandatory criteria to which a fixed number of points are attached.

Related topics: Legislation

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